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Autolysis & soda bread

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rozeboosje's picture
rozeboosje

Autolysis & soda bread

Has anybody ever tried to combine autolysis with making "soda bread"?

My idea is as follows. The soda bread is based on 300 grams of flour in total, so that would require 15 grams of raising agent, which I would make by adding 10 grams of Cream of Tartar and 5 grams of Bicarbonate of soda, and probably something like 10 grams of salt for flavour (between 3 and 4 percent salt to flour w/w)

To get the Autolyse going, I'd take 200 grams of plain flour, with no additions, and mix in 200 grams of water to that. Leave that to stand for about half an hour.

To the remaining dry flour I would add the other ingredients, the raising agent and the salt. After half an hour I add the dry flour to the mix, gently knead it but only a little bit (the autolysis has done most of the work), and pop it into the oven as quickly as possible.

 

What do you think, could this work or would I be wasting my time?

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

Why would you want to rest the plain flour and water?  Soda bread has been made very successively for decades, centuries, without any resting of all or part of the dough.  Okay, if you were using stone ground ww flour, maybe then soak that flour for a bit, but I wouldn't bother with plain white flour.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Not only would it be a waste of time to autolyse the soda bread, it may be harmful to the end result. Even a light kneading may be more than wanted or needed. Quick breads rely on the chemical interaction of an acid and a base to produce the carbon dioxide needed to raise the dough while baking. That means two things: You want to get it mixed as shortly as possible and into the oven so as not to waste the reaction, because once it's done, it's done. And any amount of gluten formation may make it harder on the chemicals to raise the dough. This is why the lightest cakes and pastries are made with lower gluten flour.

rozeboosje's picture
rozeboosje

That's why I was thinking of autolysing 200 grams of it and then mixing the raising agent in with the remaining 100 grams after which I would immediately place it in the oven.

rozeboosje's picture
rozeboosje

Reason I'm asking is that while I do like the flavour of traditional soda bread, I tend to find them extremely dense and I positively hate the way it crumbles into your hand because it has next to no gluten development in it.

golgi70's picture
golgi70

I think that is the goal for a soda bread.  It's like a large scones and is supposed to be tender(crumbly).  

Josh

rozeboosje's picture
rozeboosje

Hm... I can see that point alright but on the other hand I'd like to be able to slice my bread :P

See also my comment to PaddyL below - I tried the experiment yesterday and the result was ok for a first attempt. Ok enough to try again with a few tweaks :-)

PaddyL's picture
PaddyL

golgi70 is right, it is more like a large scone, but if your soda bread is extremely dense, you're not mixing it properly.

rozeboosje's picture
rozeboosje

Well, they weren't my soda breads *cough*. I find most soda bread that's put in front of me a tad on the dense side.

 

I tried experiment last night and the result was ok for a first attempt. I do think though that the resulting mixture was a bit too low on hydration, so I'll try again with a wetter mixture. Just for the craic, like.

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

Instead of trying to form gluten in your soda bread, how about incorporating other ingredients that are often used in quick breads and cakes, like an egg or something? You can even use some "gluten free" flour that is mixed for making bread. They usually incorporate ingredients to give the bread a better, more bread-like texture, without the gluten. Nowadays, you can probably find some form of "gluten-free" flour in just about every supermarket.

rozeboosje's picture
rozeboosje

That is a great suggestion! Thanks DavidEF

rozeboosje's picture
rozeboosje

Though I think I'll steer clear of the aul "gluten free" flours... I'll just use ones that are naturally low in gluten. Maybe a bit of rye....

DavidEF's picture
DavidEF

I try not to be prejudiced either for or against any food products, but I guess I'm a bit biased against "gluten-free". However, the reason I mentioned the "gluten-free" flour was not for the lower gluten content, but for the stuff they use to take the place of the missing gluten - mostly gums, I believe. I'm sure you can get a nice quality GF flour with no stupid chemical gluten substitutes somewhere. Alternatively, you can buy the gums separately, but not in most stores. I think if it were me, I'd try the egg.

kirsten blue's picture
kirsten blue

I think that would be a great idea. Soda can enhance the flavor of the any food. Let me share something about soda. Does your soda have dextrin? Not in the U.S., it doesn't. But in Japan, Pepsi Special has it, and it supposedly blocks fat.

rozeboosje's picture
rozeboosje

I made my own by mixing two parts Cream of Tartar with one part Bicarbonate of Soda (w/w), to the tune of 5 grams of the mixture per 100 grams of flour. No dextrin :-)